SD Rock N Roll Half Recap

A week late but here it is. This eye injury is bothering me more than I thought it would (we can discuss later).


Beings that this race was one week after M2B I wasn’t expecting to run as well. I just wanted to go check out the new course and see if this was an event worth running again. If I ran well great, if not no big deal.

I got up around 3:20 a.m. and was able to catch a 4 a.m. train down to San Diego. I thought I would be one of the only peeps at the coaster station that early but to my surprise it was pretty busy. I ended up seeing a friend that I used to work with so we chatted the whole way down to SD. The train ended in Old Town and there was a shuttle waiting to take us to the start. It was seriously so easy.

The starting area was buzzing! From runners to coaches to supporters there were people everywhere. Bathroom lines moved faster than expected, got my bag checked and headed to the start line.

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I ended up in corral 5 next to the 2 hour pacer. At that point I had to make a decision to either just chill and go with the crowded flow or expend energy and go out fast to get out of the madness.

I think it took 4 minutes to cross the start and we were off. Dude, it was CROWDED.  At that point I went with the decision to just go out fast. For the first mile I just tried to focus on getting through the crowd. I knew the street opened up around 1-1.5 miles so I would get some room to move. I remember passing the 1:45 pacer and knew I should probably put the brakes on a bit. That’s when I met Juan Fernando (John). This dude was freaking fast and there was no slowing down.

He was visiting from Mexico and spoke very little English. He asked if I understood Spanish and I said yes. From that point on he spoke to me in Spanish and I replied in English (or Spanish if I could). It was awesome. As we climbed a few short uphills we talked about races, strides and pacing. Around the 10k mark he told me he was gunning for better than a 1:36. He started in corral 3 so he had time to make up. At that point we were running 7:15-7:20s and I told him my brain was not ready to run better than a 1:36 and off he went.

Around the 15k mark we had another sneaky uphill that I just didn’t have the energy for. I made it up and over but at that point my mental state was just hang on. We hit some really fast downhills that I didn’t take advantage of but it did feel good on the legs.

As we made our way through downtown I heard the winner of the marathon finish. That was awesome. As I passed mile 13 I sprinted toward the finish. My last .10 was at a 5:43 pace (goes to show you I had a lot left physically, just not mentally!).

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I crossed the finish line in 1:38:40, 7:32 avg pace (hooray for a positive split, lol).

When I crossed the finish I took a quick picture and silently celebrated my 1 min PR. One week after a marathon PR I pulled a half PR out of my hiney. Awesome. I saw my new friend Juan and he showed me his Garmin: 1:35! He said he couldn’t believe it and I told him I knew he could do it. He ran a strong race!!

I grabbed my goodies and medal and headed to bag check to grab my stuff. I quickly changed my clothes and hopped on the trolley to get back to the train station.


The finish line was super organized and easy to navigate. I had no problem grabbing my stuff and getting out of downtown. I’ll do a race review this week but I will say now that this year was a HUGE improvement for the half! HUGE!


I’m looking forward to race downtime for a few months. I will likely run on the 4th of July but next half isn’t until August. Time to just go back to running with no plan for a few weeks and just enjoy the scenery. With one eye. So ridiculous. Welcome to my world.

Anyone else run the new half course? Thoughts?

–  I loved the downtown finish!


15 thoughts on “SD Rock N Roll Half Recap

    1. Thank you! Looking back I should have gone out more conservatively but I am so happy that I was able to pull this off. I still can’t believe I am in the 1:38’s now. Just never thought it would happen!

  1. wow! this so inspires me to try for a scarier half goal then I think I can do right now…we shall see! I’ll prob run a 5K that same week, but, hey, its not a marathon so it should be nothing! 😉

    1. Just realized that you had a water bottle in your hand. Do you carry that with you for a whole half marathon? Do you also carry it for a full? Doesn’t that wear you out (or bother you with the sloshing), or is that how you do all your training runs too so you’re used to it?

      1. I usually carry a smaller bottle for a half and that big one for a full. I was so out of it on race morning this time I just grabbed the big one 🙂 I carry it on all of my training runs so I am used to it. I have my nutrition down to a science so that bottle is like my pacifier, lol.

  2. Congrats on a great race!!! So speedy! I ran SD as well but it was my first time so I never experienced the old course.. but heard it was terrible.

  3. Awesome! I live in Encinitas and would consider doing this race next year since we can take the Coaster! How cool. I also heard from others that it was a very fast course so that also makes me think I may want to try it! I ran RnR full in 2011 as my first marathon and found it very crowded too! I think starting at the very front of the corral helps.

    Are you doing Coronado 15k and AFC when you refer to July and August? I’m doing both of those as well!

    1. Hi there! I am running Coronado! I am also scheduled to run the Dumbo Double Dare in Disneyland on Aug 31/Sep 1. I need to make a decision ASAP on AFC because it usually sells out. I like that race 🙂 The RNR half course was great. The full still runs on the 163 and I have bad memories of that from 2010, ha! Hope to see you at a race!!

  4. Congrats on your new PR my friend. You really are killing it in all of your races this year!! Super proud of you. 🙂

    I’m happy that you had a great experience with the new course. If they could take the hwy 163 portion out of the marathon course it’d be GREAT!

    Enjoy running without a training plan. You deserve a good break!! I hope your eye feels better soon! 😦 xo

    1. Thanks Pam!! And thank you for always supporting and encouraging me.

      I agree the 163 needs to be eliminated. It’s an energy sucker!!

      I can’t believe I injured my eye! While the pain is finally going away it still bugs me. I see an eye doc on July 17th!

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